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Mobile Technology News, April 29, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • AAPL rockets to year-plus high ahead of stock split
    Apple’s stock closed on Monday at a year-to-date high-water mark, closing in on $600 as the repeated message of last week’s earnings call — Tim Cook’s “we believe the stock to be undervalued” mantra — appeared to sink in on the back of better-than-expected iPhone sales, an expansion of the stock buyback program and an announced 7-to-1 stock split taking place next month. The stock has jumped almost exactly $70 since last Thursday.



  • Apps combat phobias and anxiety
    Can a smartphone prevent an anxiety attack?
  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum Game
    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft–which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and taxes.

    With a virtual parade of high-profile security breach stories in the news–nevermind the terrifying Heartbleed bug and its unknowable and incalculable repercussions–the problem of data security and identity theft is getting more attention than ever, but increasingly it’s difficult to know who’s to blame, and what, if anything, you can do to protect yourself.

    While consumer advocates and politicians argue (rightfully) for greater protection of consumer data; better, faster and more in-depth explanations regarding data breaches; and tougher penalties for thieves and sanctions for compromised organizations, it can be easy to forget that in the data breach blame game, other than the bad guys, everyone else loses, particularly consumers.

    Forget the Stats, Your Data Is Everywhere

    It’s easy to blame ‘Big Business’ for data breaches, but the fact of the matter is that government agencies, educational institutions and medical organizations are also culpable in exposing millions of Americans’ data.

    The Identity Theft Resource Center compiles a rolling list of breaches per calendar year and the number of records exposed in them. They’re broken down by category: Business, Banking/Credit/Financial, Medical/Healthcare, Government/Military and Education.

    According to the ITRC, there have already been about 8.3 million records exposed in 250 breaches so far in 2014.

    More than half of those 250 breaches fall under the rubric of Medical/Healthcare, suggesting that health care data is some of the most vulnerable. However, with a reported number of 1.38 million records exposed at medical or health care institutions (the actual number could be a bit higher), businesses — with a total of 5.85 million breached records thus far in 2014 — are actually to blame for compromising more consumers, even though they’ve experienced fewer actual breaches.

    Now let’s consider that of the 12 recorded data breaches at educational institutions, more than 820,000 records were exposed. While educational breaches represent less than 5% of the total number of breaches so far this year, those breaches are very fruitful for identity thieves since they account for roughly 10% of the total records exposed.

    The point is, there is a staggering assortment of ways and schemes to get got by the bad guys. While the name-brand breaches make for splashy headlines and lead the evening news, a huge number of data breaches happen in public institutions and government agencies that make less news but possibly contain more of the information fraudsters need to open new lines of credit, steal health care coverage or claim tax refunds.

    We live in a world where our personally identifying information travels everywhere and anywhere in the service of everything from paying our taxes to voting to getting medical care to making everyday purchases. The result is a form of information chaos.

    What You Can Do

    So instead of playing the data breach blame game, you need to take control of the situation. Do a few simple things every day and make yourself a tougher get, have the tools to quickly determine if you are in harm’s way and have a solution in place to deal with the fallout. You just need to follow the three Ms.

    Minimize your risk. If you learn that your data has been exposed as a result of a compromise, check your credit and put a fraud alert on your file. If the breached organization offers free credit monitoring, sign up. It’s not a solution, but it can be helpful. If you are very concerned, put a freeze on your credit so that no one can open a new credit account unless and until you thaw it.

    Monitor your credit and accounts. Get your free credit report at least once a year. Check your credit scores every month. This is a good way to see if someone is using your data to commit fraud. If you have any unauthorized credit accounts that have gone delinquent, it’s highly likely that your credit scores will reflect that. Any unexpected drop in your scores should be treated like a red alert, and are a sign to check your credit reports for accounts that are not yours. (You can monitor two of your credit scores every month through Credit.com for free.)

    If you use email, or spend any time at all on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, chances are good that a few minutes (or hours) a day get frittered away. Take a few of those minutes and check your credit card statements online to make sure everything is as it should be. Check your bank accounts, as well. While you may not want to be reminded of how much money you have in the bank (and/or owe), by making this part of your daily online routine, you will know when you’ve become the victim of identity theft far sooner than you would otherwise.

    Enroll in free transactional monitoring programs. Banks, credit unions and credit card companies offer free account activity notifications by text or email.

    Consider buying more sophisticated credit and fraud monitoring products and services. Remember, you can’t begin the process of solving a problem until you know there is a problem. Since you have a day job and can’t spend every minute of your life on high alert, you need someone watching out for you.

    Manage the damage. Contact your insurance agent, financial institutions as well as the HR department at work. Many offer programs at little or no expense to assist policyholders, clients, customers and employees through crisis situations such as identity theft.

    When it comes to breaches and identity theft, we are all in this together. Just as government and business must do their part, as consumers we must do ours as well.

  • Nokia names Rajeev Suri as new boss
    Nokia has named Rajeev Suri, until now the head of its network equipment division, as the new chief executive officer.
  • VIDEO: Watch a mobile payment app in action
    A university campus has become the first in the UK to allow students to pay for goods using a mobile app.
  • Facebook Messenger Update Brings Instant Video and Photo Sharing

    Facebook has released a significant update to the Facebook Messenger app for iPhone.  The new 5.0 version for iPhone brings a host of new features, mostly around instant photo and video sharing and keeping the sharing of that media right within the app itself.
    Facebook Messenger – Free – Download […]

    The post Facebook Messenger Update Brings Instant Video and Photo Sharing appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Apple vs Samsung, Day 12: Samsung tries shenanigans
    The last day of testimony in the second Apple-Samsung patent dispute — which only became necessary due to an Appeals Court ruling that changed the definition of one of Apple’s contested patents — was intended to be fairly quick. The two sides were allowed just one hour each to put back on the stand some experts to explain how the new interpretation might affect jurors’ deliberations , then there were to be some judgements on legal matters, and jury instruction.



  • Yahoo announces original TV series
    Yahoo has announced two original TV series that will be shown on its website and mobile app, becoming the latest tech firm to join the digital video content race.
  • Samsung's mobile phone sales decline
    Samsung Electronics reports a 4% decline in sales at its mobile phone division in the first quarter of 2014.
  • FreedomPop to sell iPhone 5, offers free voice and text app on iOS
    Alternative telecom FreedomPop has announced that it is now selling the iPhone 5 (not the 5s or 5c, just the original iPhone 5 from 2012) and offering a free wireless plan with 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data per month, the first time the Sprint MVNO has carried the iPhone. It will also support the CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 and 4S on its 3G network going forward, and has launched a new iOS app that offers free voice, text and voicemail to all iOS users on other carriers.



  • Slow web speeds stifling small firms
    Slow web speeds are stifling small firms’ growth prospects
  • Millions shut out of mobile payments
    Twenty million bank account holders will have no immediate access to the new Paym mobile payment technology, which officially launches on Tuesday.
  • Is the American Dream a Dream Deferred?
    So, last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley Summit (ASU+GSV 2014) in Arizona. It’s known as the “Davos in the Desert” and is an amazing opportunity for those with a commitment to education and creating success for students.

    There was a lot of talk at the summit about the American dream and creating opportunity for all. In fact it was the theme of the conference. I heard a lot about fears that the American dream is dying.

    As I heard about these themes throughout the event and thinking about what we can do to make a difference, I began to notice interesting things. First, glancing around the rooms revealed to me what seemed like a lack of significant diversity among attendees.

    Perhaps by working in the higher ed/ nonprofit space I have become used to attending events that reflect a higher percentage of women as attendees. It was curious to me that there was never a long wait for the ladies’ restroom at breaks. In addition, I was literally one of a handful of individuals of color participating in this amazing opportunity. Why?

    So I began to examine my own road to ASU+GSV. First, were it not for the fact that ASU+GSV offers a special nonprofit rate, (which is less than a third of the regular registration price) and also the ability to secure lodging at a more reasonably priced hotel than the conference venue, my nonprofit employer probably could not have afforded to be represented here.

    I started to wonder if there’s a missed opportunity to make this event even more accessible to the masses committed to success for students. Or maybe there needs to be a shift in priorities for said individuals to realize the importance in investing in opportunities like this?

    The sessions were engaging and valuable. During one, Michael Crow, ASU’s president, championed the need for “culture change” in families, in societies and in education in order for us to see any real improvements in learning outcomes. Sentiments I am in agreement with.

    I also listened to Governor Jeb Bush as he passionately spoke about his “tri-lingual” granddaughter who is of Mexican, Iraqi and, of course, “Texan” descent. He spoke about understanding the importance of access and the opportunities afforded by immigration and that education is the key to true social mobility.

    I recalled that Columba, Bush’s wife, is a distinguished member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and our founder Steve Loflin always reflects fondly that she actually came to her NSCS induction ceremony and served as a positive example to the undergraduate members.

    Something jelled for me listening to the governor as I realized the reason he is able to speak so passionately about these issues around immigration, access and diversity because he lives it. He relates to it.

    I think it’s difficult for most people to embrace the importance of these issues if they haven’t lived it or don’t have a point of reference. That’s why I thought that having an increased representation of diverse groups at the conference could have had an amazing and substantial impact. Especially with the abundance of opportunities to network and connect.

    As an immigrant who became a citizen as a teenager, I have no choice but to understand and embrace these issues. However, real change and real difference will not happen until those who can’t relate or don’t understand decide (or are forced to) embrace the core issues plaguing our education system.

    As to the questions and fears that the dream is dying, in my book I think we can create the opportunities to bring back the dream but it will require equity in addition to equality; it will require equal opportunity for outcomes and not just access. In order for that to really take place we need everyone to be part of the conversation.

  • Disney Tried To Buy BuzzFeed
    The merger conversations happened several months ago, but fell apart over price.
  • Police Officer Undresses To Perform 'Skin To Skin' Treatment On Man With Hypothermia
    One police officer in Canada went beyond the call of duty in a desperate attempt to save a man’s life, last week.

    After high winds caused a 23-year-old man’s canoe to capsize on the St. Lawrence River near Montreal on Thursday, he swam through the freezing waters to get to the people he spotted from a distance, QMI Agency reported.

    Fortunately, he was wearing a life jacket and made it to shore where he used the little energy he had left to climb up to them, RightThisMinute reported.

    One of the bystanders was a nurse and promptly called 911. When Police Officer David Jutras came to the scene, the nurse recommended using a “skin to skin” technique. So Jutras took off his bulletproof vest and shirt, and lay down on the man to give him as much body heat as possible.

    Paramedics later came to the scene and took the 23-year-old, who was showing signs of hypothermia, to a hospital. He was released on Thursday night, according to QMI Agency.

    This isn’t the first time that police officers have come to the rescue after a canoe capsized. Last summer, officers rescued four people in northwestern Alberta after their boat capsized. Two of them were stranded in the middle of a river, and were forced to cling to a rock for 16 hours until they were found.

    h/t RightThisMinute

  • Mobility Is the New Black
    Wearable technology is not just the latest fashion statement; it is becoming one of the biggest tech trends of the decade. From sports bracelets that can access Facebook and monitor your pulse while you are running, to wearable computers like Google Glass, the trend is growing fast.

    It makes sense. We human beings are active creatures. We walk and run and play sports. We go to museums and hockey games and restaurants. At the same time we have a love affair with our computers — whether it is emailing, Googling, instant messaging or Tweeting, we don’t like to be too far away from them.

    So when cell phones began to offer email and internet capabilities, they became our de facto mobile computers. So much so that the average person checks their mobile phone about 110 times per day!

    It was only a matter of time before mobile technology became part of your wardrobe. Google Glass offers streaming data onto your eyeglasses via a mounted display box, accessible at the flick of a glance. (They are even talking about contact lenses that can monitor your blood sugar!)

    Smart watches use Bluetooth to link to your phone, allowing you to Facebook and email while tracking your fitness levels on your wrist.

    Wearable technology gives you instant gratification while offering retailers, information providers and other companies the ability to personalize your every experience. And personalization is the future of mobility. Thanks to GPS, your mobile device knows where you are at any given time. Mobile applications give you a wide range of choices that can help you to map out a route, read a newspaper, shop online or play a game. Combining the capabilities of mobile apps with personalized services and intelligent business process management means that service providers can have a new level of business agility; able to proactively respond to customer needs, changing markets, competitors and regulations.

    Technology means service providers can filter the world for you — and you only.

    For example, imagine you are at a hockey game watching your favorite team play. A player scores and you wonder how many goals he has had this season. You pick up your smartphone to Google the answer.

    Behind you is the VIP box, where the lucky guests are sipping cocktails and wearing unusual-looking glasses. One of them yells out that your player has had 11 goals this season. How did he know that so quickly? This is the capability of personalized mobility using Google Glass.

    In fact, the Washington Capitals hockey team will soon be launching Skybox Google Glass for their home games, a service for VIPs that will offer hockey stats and graphics and replays.

    Sports are only one area where personalized mobility is useful. Medicine is also embracing it. New Jersey cardiologist Jordan Safirstein video-streams surgical operations using Google Glass to his students who can view it live on their smartphones or tablets. His cardiac fellows can learn about tricky situations as he encounters them in surgery.

    There is more to wearable computing than meets the eye. All of the data that streams out of wearable technology — and into the Internet of Things — is of use to service providers in making your customer experience even more personalized.

    Various reports indicate that more than 2 billion mobile devices will ship globally in 2014 and, as this market continues to grow exponentially, application developers need an efficient way to create dynamic apps. It will be important for developers to build single, cross-platform apps, plus test and manage them from a single platform. Equally importantly, they will want to build a single version of a native, mobile application that can be used across any iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile device.

    Wearable technology, and in particular computing, is the future. Living in a filtered world, driven by personal preferences and based on our GPS coordinates, will give all of us more of what we want — and only what we want and when we want it.

  • A Song for the FCC: Don't Blow Up Net Neutrality
    If you think explaining tech policy is difficult, try putting it to music and lyrics. That’s exactly the challenge faced by musician and artist Jonathan Mann, who last week composed a song urging the Federal Communications Commission to ditch its plan for a payola Internet.

    For the last five years, Mann has been composing a song a day. “Don’t Blow Up the Internet” is his 1,939th. In it he asks the FCC’s five commissioners whether they work for the public — or for Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

    “Don’t blow up my home. History will judge. Are you going to kill creativity, or help give it a nudge?”

    Mann, who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2006, says the open Internet is “integral” to his work as an artist. He submitted “Don’t Blow Up the Internet” to the FCC last week and is hoping the commissioners will listen in — and maybe even sing along.

    I caught up with him over the weekend:

    What was your original inspiration for the Song a Day project?

    Mann: “Song a Day” started in 2009 when I got a flier for Fun a Day, an art project where artists from all over the world make one thing for every day in the month of January. At the end of January, I just decided to keep going, and at the end of that first year, the momentum was so great that I kept on keeping on. Now I’m just shy of 2,000 days of songwriting.

    What role has the Internet played in getting your songs out to a wider audience?

    Mann: Without the Internet, there is no Song a Day.

    Ideas: Writing a song a day requires a constant stream of ideas. Sometimes the ideas come from my life. Sometimes they just come from the recesses of my mind. Many times, I find the ideas on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the like. The Internet is my fuel.

    Sharing: I’ve learned that a huge piece of my creative process revolves around sharing my work. Without the sharing, I’m not sure I’d be willing or able to keep it up this long. Every single comment, good or bad, every bit of feedback keeps me going.

    Audience: Related to that is the audience I’ve found. Sometimes it’s on a really large scale, and sometimes it’s on a smaller scale. But the day to day of reaching people on many different levels would be impossible without the Internet.

    How would the FCC’s proposal to allow Internet service providers to charge for preferential treatment affect your efforts as a songwriter?

    Mann: Part of what makes the Internet great is the pure chaos of it all. It’s constantly random and exciting and stupid and amazing. As a songwriter, I live in the middle of that — and I thrive on it. Any attempt to try to control that chaos would kill it immediately. It would destroy our home.

    How would it impact the broader creative community?

    Mann: Let’s talk about Bandcamp [the online marketplace that connects musicians with listeners]. I LOVE them. When they first came on the scene in 2009, it was a real hallelujah moment for me. I’d been waiting and waiting for a dead simple way to sell my music online, at my own price, in any format.

    I upload all my music to Bandcamp. Thousands and thousands of songs. People can stream my songs and they can download them.

    Let’s say the new FCC rules go into effect. First, would Bandcamp be able to pay the tariffs to be in the fast lane? If not, a very important revenue stream is seriously hampered: Songs won’t load. Downloads will time out. People won’t be able to get my music.

    Secondly, even if Bandcamp can pay the tariffs, what about the next amazing tool that comes along? Bandcamp was only able to come into existence because the Internet is a level playing field, open and free.

    Coming at it from a different angle, there’s YouTube. YouTube is wonderful in many, many ways, but frankly, some of their values don’t line up directly with mine, and they have a near monopoly with regards to online video.

    If you want to make a living online making video, if you want to reach the widest possible audience, your only choice is YouTube. That’s just not healthy. I’d LOVE for a video-streaming site to come along with a whole different set of values and give Google a run for their money. If the FCC and Comcast get their way, that will be simply impossible.

    What would you tell FCC Chairman Wheeler if you had a chance to get him on the phone?

    Mann: Sir. Dude. Hello. Please: Just stop. You don’t work for them anymore, you work for us now. Do the right thing. Be brave. We love you. We believe in you. You can do it. Make the right choice. Keep the Internet free.

  • Something Truly Terrifying Came Through This Family's Baby Monitor
    An intruder terrified an Ohio family by making his way into their sleeping 10-month-old daughter’s bedroom and screaming at her to wake up. And he did it all without ever setting foot in their home.

    A hacker took control of the baby monitor camera in Heather and Adam Schreck’s daughter Emma’s room one night and terrorized the family for a brief few minutes, per area news outlet Fox19. The mother said she heard what sounded like a man’s voice coming from the baby’s room during the night, and when she checked the camera feed from her baby’s room, she noticed the camera moving on its own.

    “About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter,” she recalled. “He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby. Wake up baby.’ Then just screaming at her, trying to wake her up.”

    Once the couple realized how serious the situation was, Adam rushed into Emma’s room. The camera promptly turned directly to him, and the mystery man on the other end started shouting expletives at him. When the father unplugged the camera, the scary invasion was over.

    Last year, a family in Texas experienced a similar intrusion when a stranger hacked their baby monitor and cursed at their 2-year-old daughter.

    Apparently it’s relatively simple for hackers to access baby monitors that operate on a wireless Internet connection. But there are measures parents can take to try and prevent such an intrusion into their home. Wired came up with a list of three easy steps for helping make a monitoring device more secure: register the device, turn on your firewall and change the device’s default login settings. (Visit Wired for a more detailed look at these easy tricks.)

  • How To Tell If A Toddler Has Been Playing With Your Tablet
    You don’t have to be a detective to crack the case. There’s usually evidence, in the form of a selfie (or 12).

    For example, Reddit user fulminic posted this set of photos taken by his son that are pretty solid clues. Based on the sadness at the end, it looks like the little guy was having trouble getting past the camera screen to his games.

    However, Dad says his kid is a repeat offender. Another time, the kid woke up, got dressed like a firefighter, and left traces of the events on the tablet. Like you do.

    And, for your viewing pleasure, here are 55 more suspects who had trouble covering their tracks.

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